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    Includes Expert Content
    Recovery from total knee replacement
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    boomerpsyc posted:
    I had TKR a month ago. I am experiencing significant pain daily and am taking Oxycodone on a regular baisis. I am worried about becoming dependent on the meds, but I can't function with the pain I am having. Is this typical for this time after surgery or should I seek medical intervention?
     
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    Lookin4Answerz responded:
    Hi there,

    my mom is 1 year into her recovery from TKR - she still cannot function without her meds. You may become dependant on them. I really hope you don't suffer as much as my mom does, she cries every day.. I keep looking for answers or suggestions from other people who have been through this to see if there is any other way to help with the pain.

    I hope you recover well - I hope this post doesn't upset you, I just read about all these poor people who are still suffering months and months after...

    How are u doing once your pain meds kick in?
     
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    boomerpsyc replied to Lookin4Answerz's response:
    I am happy to report that the pain is far less significant, though sstill there, and I'm taking less oxycodone than I was before. It's now six weeks out from surgery, and I'm hoping that my progress will continue.
     
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    misschoochoo replied to boomerpsyc's response:
    You sound like you're making good progress. As far as I know, just six weeks from surgery and still taking oxycodone, but cutting back, is completely normal. You should be checking with your surgeon on this -- they will help you switch to a different pain med when necessary. I had Hydrocodone after the Oxycodone, then Tylenol after that. I was also on Meloxicam which is an anti inflammatory drug, and I still take that, 6 months from surgery. I hardly have to take any Tylenol now at all, but I still have to elevate my knee at night and ice occasionally. I'm a pianist, and pedaling for hours takes a toll on my knee.
     
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    jeanneinct replied to misschoochoo's response:
    I'm 4 weeks post-op. I've used ice a lot for swelling and a pillow to elevate my leg while laying down. I'm finally off Warfarin (blood thinner) so now I'm able to take Aleve for pain which is great because Aleve has anti-inflammatory properties which none of the narcotic pain relievers have. It does make a huge difference and I'm able to take a lot less Vicodin. I've always taken 2 Senokot every other day just to be sure I don't get constipated from the Vicodin. I'm trying to increase my knee flexion, the extension is good. But due to the swelling, it's been more difficult to flex it. Hopefully taking more drugs that have an anti-inflammatory property will help with that. I knew this was going to be rough, but I expected it would be at least a little better day by day and it hasn't been, that's the discouraging part. Nobody sent me the memo telling me that it doesn't feel better and sometimes feels worse than the first few post op days. But it will eventually.
     
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    Rarintogo replied to jeanneinct's response:
    I too am 4 weeks post tkr and a little depressed. Was hoping to be more advanced by now. Had my first outpatient pt yesterday and was told I was stiffer than most after 4 weeks. My in home therapist kept telling me how above average I was. Just hoping that in the next couple of weeks I can make some significant progress. Harder than anticipated.
     
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    jeanneinct replied to Rarintogo's response:
    That's another thing that I never got the memo about. I'm sure the depression that most people feel after a TKR or any joint replacement is due to a lack of sleep, limited mobility, pain and having the need to be totally dependent on someone else. Even the pain meds can make us feel depressed. I feel quite a bit less pain and more flexibility in just this past week. So that was encouraging for me. The problem for me now is getting through the physical therapy 2 or 3 times a week. The exercises aren't that bad but at the end of my session, the therapist forces my knee to a flexion way beyond my tolerance for pain and I just want to cry. But I know that it's necessary to get that extra knee flexion.

    We need to remind ourselves that this surgery is major and probably has one of the most intensive rehabilitation of any joint replacement surgery. We need to be kind to ourselves and encouraged by our progress even if the progress happens in baby steps. I think this surgery is harder than most people could ever realize. But as I walked slowly to the kitchen today and down the stairs, it occurred to me that the knee that had the surgery wasn't painful in the joint as it had been but the other knee which hasn't been replaced yet had a lot of pain. I know it's just a matter of time that I'll be grateful I've done the surgery and will be ready for the other knee.
     
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    arbob5 replied to jeanneinct's response:
    The other knee, which you describe as having a lot of pain but not replaced yet, has taken the burden of the other knee. In other words, when you were limping and having trouble walking before the surgery, the other knee was doing "double work". It happens to all of us.

    And you are right that forcing the knee beyond tolerance is just part of pt. It has to be done.

    You do sound like you're realizing you're coming around. And that's as it should be. It takes longer for some than others, but you seem to be on the right track. Keep up the good work.
     
    avatar
    Bal M Rajagopalan, MD responded:
    THIS CAN BE VERY NORMAL EVERYONE RESPONDS DIFFERENTLY ESPECIALLY TO PAIN. IN ANY CASE, PLEASE GET REASSURANCE FROM YOUR ORTHO SURGEON.
    DR RAJ MD,FRCSC
    www.drhipandknee.com


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